It is said that people visit Nepal for the first time for the mountains and come back for the people. Mountains are definitely the star of this diverse little country. Nepalese take a lot of pride in the mountains of the Himalayas. While the Egyptians have their pyramids, the Chinese have their great wall, Nepalese have the Himalayas.
Mr. Been "That’s a wrong comparison Tour guy. You are comparing something natural with something manmade. I could have done a lot better!."
I am going to ignore you Mr. Been. Anyways, amongst many other reasons Nepal is famous for, the high scaling mountains definitely steal the limelight. And we’ve got to thank the Indian and the Eurasian plates for bumping into each other some 40-50 million years ago. They continued pushing against each other and the Himalayas was born, also the highest and the largest plateau, The Tibetan Plateau was born. These plates are also the very reason why Nepal is in a high risk seismic zone. The total length of the Himalaya range is 2400 km and one third of the range lies in Nepal. In that one third region of the Himalayas is where some of the highest mountains of the world are. Infact 8 of the 10 highest peaks of the world are situated in Nepal. Here is the list of all the high scaling mountains of Nepal . Amongst the 8 highest peaks situated in Nepal the most famous one has definitely got to be Mount Everest, the big daddy of them all.
1. Mount Everest
Mt. Everest only knew she was the tallest of them all in the year 1852 when The Survey of India measured the height at a staggering 8848 m. She went by the name Peak XV then. But the 8848 m height is now long gone as a more accurate height has been measured. This happened in the year 1999 when American Survey managed to anchor in the summit rock a receptor for satellite signals from GPS. Since then the height has been corrected to 8850 m. But it is still not the highest in the solar system. That crown goes to Olympus Mons of Mars that measures well above 22000 m.
Jane Knowall "Having said that Sagarmatha as it is known in Nepali is still growing at a rate of 4mm per year. Remember the plates? They are still pushing against each other! So maybe after some 100 million years or so Mt Everest can be the highest in the entire solar system. But it's not that straightforward. ;)"
In Nepal, mountains less than 7000 m are not even worthy of names. There are numerous high scaling mountains in Nepal that easily beat so called “high” mountains of other countries and still don’t have names! Not bragging, just mentioning ;-)
Jane Knowall "Did you know? The highest peaks of each continent or more popularly and collectively known as Seven Summits has not a single mountain that crosses 7000 m mark except for the giant Everest. When it comes to maintaining high standards Everest is certainly the boss. At 8850 m it is very hard to argue against it. Aconcagua (6961 m) is the second highest mountain of all the seven summits. That’s a difference of 1889 metres!"
Mount Everest is also where most records have been set besides itself being the highest mountain in the world. From highest altitude helicopter landing to marriage at the top of Everest, this giant has seen it all. Everest has also set the record for the highest altitude brawl! Take a look at these records set on Mount Everest.
Mr. Been "Basically anything that happens in Everest is a record in itself. Go play a gameboy at the top of Everest and voila! You have created a record. I myself am planning to do the moonwalk on the summit someday and get my name in the record books."
You might think climbing mountains in Nepal is an easy job because of the many number of people who have climbed Mt. Everest alone. Let me present you with the numbers that speak for itself. Ever since the first attempt at conquering Everest in 1921 the total number of deaths is recorded to be 248 as of the December, 2013. The average deaths in Everest is 4.4 each year since 1921. So my advice is don't take Everest for granted.
2. Mount Dhaulagiri
Backing up Mount Everest to glorify Nepal in the world map are some other stunning mountains. Dhaulagiri for example is another eight thousander peak and the seventh highest peak of the world at 8167 m. You will get a beautiful view of Dhaulagiri from Mustang trek and Poonhill trek is another great spot to see this mountain in it’s entire glory. But suppose you are a hardcore adventurer and Chuck Norris is your idol, then Poonhill trek will simply not do. If you want an awesome and rather hard trek that will get you awesome views of Dhaulagiri then might I suggest the Dhaulagiri Circuit trek. This trek will show you the very less travelled Hidden valley, French pass and will require relative good trekking skills/ experience. But it will be all worth it!
Dhaulagiri has some pretty interesting stories attached to it as well. Dhaulagiri showed how crazy the Swiss people were and in particular a pilot named Emil Wick. Emil Wick came to Nepal in 1960 to support the Swiss expedition team attempting to conquer Dhaulagiri for the very first time. He would land his Pilatus porter nicknamed “Yeti” just above the Dhaulagiri icefall to supply expedition supplies to the Swiss team. The record still stands as the highest altitude fixed winged aircraft landing in the world. On his way back he would bring chunks of ice to chill his beer. 1960 Pokhara, where he was stationed, did not have electricity back then. So his solution was ice from the Dhaulagiri itself. His crazy antics are hard to match.
Another famous name in the mountaineering fraternity, Maurice Herzog along with his team also came to Nepal in 1950 to climb Dhaulagiri. After a couple of reconnaissance trips they concluded Dhaulagiri would be too hard to handle and so they set their eyes on Annapurna I instead. With the help of an incorrect map, snowstorms and lots of gut they conquered Annapurna I, the first eight thousander to be successfully climbed.
3. Annapurna I
Talking about Annapurna I, it is another equally enticing mountain. It is the hero of the Annapurna range. The south face of this 10th highest mountain in the world is perhaps the most difficult climb in any mountain. But Ueli Steck, a Swiss alpinist did the south face all by himself in 28 hours in the year 2013. Yes, the same guy who was hurled stones at by the Sherpas at Everest for not following mountaineering etiquettes.
Dodo Kopold once said, “People say that Annapurna is dangerous from the north, dangerous and difficult from the northwest and steep, dangerous and difficult from the south”. Certainly nobody seems to have mentioned that to Ueli Steck. Nonetheless, Annapurna is one of the deadliest mountain in the entire world. It has a fatality rate of over 35% i.e 1 climber out of every 3 dies trying. It is the same mountain that consumed the life of Anatoli Boukreev, hero of the 1996 Everest disaster.
Culture guy "Annapurna in Nepali literally means “Full of food”. The glaciers of Annapurna feed the rivers down below which in turn fuels the lower regions with lush vegetation and wildlife. A quite fitting name for this gracious mountain."
Nepal takes a lot of pride and inspiration from the mountains. From naming banquet halls in 5 star hotels, featuring mountains in patriotic songs to wearing ‘Dhaka topi’ proudly which people say, figuratively represents the mountains of Nepal. Many people remind Nepal is a small country but Nepalese like to argue otherwise, is Nepal really small with the help of these mountains in terms surface area? Read our About Nepal section to find out more.